Why does broccoli smell?

In this brief article, we will answer the query, “why does broccoli smell?”. We will also discuss how you can get rid of the bad odor of broccoli when cooking and how to freeze broccoli.

why does broccoli smell?

The smell of broccoli is caused by a combination of sulfur-containing compounds. These compounds are released when the vegetable is cut or cooked, and they react with each other to produce the characteristic broccoli odor.

The main sulfur-containing compound in broccoli is glucosinolate, which is also responsible for the bitter taste of the vegetable. When broccoli is cut or cooked, the enzyme myrosinase is released, which breaks down glucosinolate into sulfur-containing molecules known as thiocyanates.

These thiocyanates react with each other to produce the characteristic broccoli odor. The exact composition of the thiocyanates present in broccoli depends on the variety of the vegetable, as well as on the growing conditions and cooking methods.

How can you get rid of the smell of broccoli when cooking?

Add vinegar

Vinegar can help reduce the smell of broccoli by masking the odor with its own scent. Additionally, vinegar can help to break down the sulfur compounds that are responsible for the pungent smell of broccoli. 

To use vinegar to reduce the smell of broccoli, simply add a few tablespoons of vinegar to a pot of boiling water before adding the broccoli. Allow the broccoli to cook as usual, then drain and serve. The vinegar smell will dissipate as the broccoli cooks and should not be noticeable when the dish is served.

Use lemon juice 

Lemon juice can help to reduce the smell of broccoli by acting as a natural deodorizer. When added to broccoli, the lemon juice will help to neutralize any odors that may be present. Additionally, the citrus scent of lemon juice can help to mask any unwanted smells. 

To use lemon juice to reduce the smell of broccoli, simply add a few drops of lemon juice to the vegetable before cooking or serving. For best results, allow the lemon juice to sit on the broccoli for a few minutes before cooking or eating.

Use bread

When placed next to or on top of broccoli, bread can help to absorb some of the compounds that contribute to its strong smell. This can help to reduce the overall intensity of the odor. Additionally, the bread can add its own aroma to the mix, which can help to mask the smell of the broccoli.

How can you tell if broccoli has gone bad?


Fresh broccoli is dark green in color. The florets begin to turn yellow as the vegetable starts to deteriorate. That is a sign that it has spoiled. Mold also makes the color of broccoli change from green to black spots or even become more yellow


Spoiled broccoli has a sour smell. Fresh broccoli should not have an odor but should have a fresh aroma. Odors are a sign that sulfur compounds are breaking down broccoli causing spoilage.


Fresh broccoli has a firm texture. Slimy broccoli shows that the putrefaction process has started and the vegetable is spoilt.

What is the shelf life of broccoli?

Raw broccoli that has been left on the kitchen counter has a shelf life of -2 days while refrigerated can go up to 4-5 days. Freeze raw broccoli can last up to 1 year.

Cooked broccoli left on the kitchen counter spoils the same day while refrigerated one lasts for 5 days. Cooked broccoli left in the freezer can last up to one year.

Why is Broccoli good for your health?

Broccoli is a nutrient powerhouse. It’s packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are essential for good health. Broccoli is a great source of fiber. It helps promote a healthy digestive system and can also help lower cholesterol levels. 

Moreover, Broccoli is a low-calorie food. It’s a great way to fill up without adding a lot of calories to your diet. Broccoli is a good source of vitamins C and K. These vitamins are important for a healthy immune system and strong bones. 

Broccoli is a good source of folate. This nutrient is important for pregnant women and can help prevent birth defects. 

How do you freeze broccoli?

Broccoli can be frozen in a number of ways. One way is to cut the broccoli into pieces and then blanch it in boiling water for two minutes. After blanching, immediately plunge the broccoli into ice water to stop the cooking process. 

Once the broccoli is cooled, drain it and then place it in a freezer bag. Another way to freeze broccoli is to first steam it until it is tender. Once it is steamed, allow it to cool and then place it in a freezer bag.

You can learn more on how to prepare broccoli here

Other FAQs about Broccoli that you may be interested in.

What happens if you eat too much broccoli?

What does broccoli taste like?

What happens if you eat bad broccoli?


In this brief article, we answered the question, “Why does broccoli smell?”. Also, we have discussed the shelf life of broccoli and how you can properly freeze broccoli

Hope you find this blog useful, in case of any questions please let us know





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